One in five smartphones sold in the United States during the second quarter was 4G LTE-enabled according to The NPD Group, and the market for LTE handsets is set to continue its rapid ascent according to a new report. Market research firm In-Stat on Wednesday suggested sales of handsets with embedded 4G LTE will surpass 154 million units in 2015. We’ve seen even more bullish projections — ABI Research said last week that annual LTE smartphone sales would reach 245 million devices in 2016 — but the consensus appears to be that LTE growth won’t be slowing any time soon. Read on for more.

“As the number of smartphones and other mobile devices that require data connections increases, so does the need for the increased capacity provided by LTE networks,” said In-Stat analyst Chris Kissel. “There will be over 290 million LTE subscriptions by 2015. Not only is the forecast for the number of LTE handsets moving rapidly upward, so, too, is the total number of cellular subscribers.”

In-Stat also notes in its new Cellular Subscriptions and Handsets Database, Q4’11 Forecast that total cellular subscriptions are expected to reach 6.5 billion in 2015.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.